??Having friendships in your life gives you a sense of belonging, reduces stress, boosts your self-confidence, helps you get through tough times, and makes it easier to avoid unhealthy lifestyles. Scientifically, adults with strong networks of friends are less likely to have mental health issues, high blood pressure, and increased body mass indices. Seniors who have a lot of friends are also more likely to live longer.??
How, however, do you cultivate these strong friendships? Read on to find out.
The qualities of a good friend
Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote extensively on what friends are, what makes good friends, and more. He even said that between friends there is a particular type of love. However, he basically said that good friends have mutual sympathy and care for each other. It can mean sharing emotions out of empathy and helping a friend in need.??
In practice, this may look like:
- Feel good. Good friends say great things to each other. They rise up and give each other compliments. So, not only do you have to feel good about yourself, but you also have to help your friends to feel good.
- Support each other. In those sad times when your friend is feeling down or down, a good thing to do with a friend is to help them feel better.
- Love the differences. It is impossible for your friends to all have the same interests or hobbies as you. Even if your interests and those of your friend don’t match, stay open. Try out your friend’s interests and see if you like them too. If you don’t, understand that good friends encourage each other, even in their separate interests.
- Be a good listener. Make sure you listen and don’t interrupt your friend. In a healthy friendship, both parties are interested in what the other has to say.
- Be a trustworthy friend. Good friends don’t judge and keep private information confidential.
- Maintain respect and respect limits. If you’ve been friends with someone for long enough, there will definitely be some issues that arise. Maybe you will do or say something that will upset your friend. Or maybe they did something that upset you. Either way, close friends can talk frankly about these things and resolve their issues.
- Give them your time. Establishing a strong bond takes work and time. By giving your friends time on a regular basis, you let them come into your life. Maybe at first it might seem awkward, but more and more you will both feel more comfortable.
- Reciprocal link. Being a good friend doesn’t just mean listening to your friend or vice versa. Strong friendships are mutual; no one should be dominant. Again, you should both feel good and lift each other up.
- Create a community. While some friendships may seem special, like having a “best friend,” it’s always good to have more than one friend in your life. Having a few good friends can broaden your outlook on life, give you different types of friendships, and increase your support.
- Quality rather than quantity. While having a community is essential, you may feel pressured to have a lot of friends in the modern age of social media followers. However, resist this pressure. It is more important to have good, close relationships with fewer people than many superficial friendships.
Let it go when it’s time
It is important to cherish your good friends. If issues arise, let your friend know how much you care and want to hear from them. Then try to overcome the difficulties. It can offer you both a chance to connect and to grow in your relationship. ??
However, sometimes people go their separate ways. Good friends develop lasting mutual respect and understanding. They understand that sometimes certain friendships do not correspond to certain phases of life. Genuinely appreciating your friend means that you are supportive of them even if they need space with you. Even if it hurts, let them go if that’s what they need. Give them the chance to grow and become a more complete version of themselves.